Friday, July 29, 2011

The Future of Nanomedicine: Promises and Limitations

The nascent field of nanomedicine has evoked enormous interest among physical and biological scientists and has already attracted hundreds of millions of dollars of research funding. The great appeal of nanomedicine lies in it’s promise of using the unique properties of materials on the nanoscale to address some of the most challenging problems of medical diagnosis and therapy. While there have been some questions raised about possible toxicities of nanomaterials, and about the ethical implications of applying these advanced, but undoubtedly expensive, technologies to medical practice, for the most part the nanomedicine field has enjoyed unalloyed enthusiasm from both its proponents in the research community and from the public. However, will the promise of nanomedicine actually be fulfilled? A potential stumbling block relates to the internal intellectual culture of field, particularly the communications gap between the nanotechnologists and biologists, both of whose contributions are needed. This often leads to technological approaches that fail to reflect the complexity of biological systems and that are thus doomed to failure. For much more information on this topic contact me at Also see the article at:

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